June 29, 2017

Today in History: Temperance & Prohibition

Today in History–October 28–the Library of Congress features temperance and prohibition. On this day in 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act which allowed for enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Lauded by temperance societies and referred to as the Prohibition Amendment, the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” in the United States. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section then click the links below to access more related primary sources.

Amendments 18 and 21 | Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business


Temperance images

Temperance sheet music

Temperance song recordings

Temperance map

Temperance broadsides & correspondence

Temperance Talk (periodical)

Ruined by Rum (1877 book)

The Bases of the Temperance Reform (1873 book)

Text-book of Temperance (1869)

More temperance books & other texts

Temperance: historical newspaper articles and advertisements

Carrie Nation, temperance advocate

American Temperance Society resources

American Temperance Society: historical newspaper coverage

Temperance background info & primary source texts (California State University Northridge)


Prohibition books and other texts

Selected newspaper articles: prohibition

Volstead Act historical newspaper coverage

Prohibition cartoons

Prohibition images

Oral histories mentioning prohibition from the American Life Histories collection

Prohibition sheet music

Prohibition songs

Dinnie Donohue, on Prohibition (audio recording, monologue)


  1. Kayla Maier says:

    Does anyone know who took this photo in the early 1900’s? I need to know for a research outline primary source.

    • If you are referring to the photo at the top of the post, clicking on it will take you to the item’s bibliographic record. There you will see that it “Forms part of: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection”. Since no individual is listed, in this instance the creator would be the organization: New York World-Telegram and the Sun.

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